Tag Archives: Connecticut

Returning To Life As Normal After Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

Standard

I know many of you will read that title and wonder if I’m crazy – wondering just how life can ever be “normal” again. In many ways, even in other communities across these United States, life won’t ever be the same. However, there has to be moving forward. Moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting. Moving forward doesn’t mean not acknowledging a tragedy many would rather not even think about. Moving on doesn’t even mean that we continue on with life as if this never happens. Instead, moving on means trying to keep the pain and emotions present while working to remain resolved to make a difference in how America remains vigilant and does all we can – as a nation, and as individuals – to ensure our safety.

Truth be told, my heart continues to break with the community of Newtown, Connecticut. As I continue to follow different news reports, see stories / victim accounts, and even coverage of the funerals, the tears come, and my heart breaks. I find this tragedy one hard to read or talk about, and tears inevitably show up. The thing that gets to me isn’t just the accounts of the shooting itself, but of the love. The love of those teachers, staff and the principal who put their lives on the line – some even making that ultimate sacrifice for “their” children. Clearly, they love the children they were charged with each day. In spite of clearly imminent danger of death, they still acted on benefit of the children. Every time I read a synopsis of the events, I just imagine what it must have been like. Those teachers acted on instinct and training. They knew how to handle the situation to the best of their ability, and they did not hesitate. As such, many more lives were spared. From the janitor running through the halls with warnings, to the teachers protecting their children to the staff / principal who went beyond their call to duty, I am grateful.

The tragedy showed an evil side of humanity. It showed a broken person, with much anger. None of us have any idea the personal demons he was struggling with. I honestly don’t even want to think about it. There’s one side of me that wishes we could just know why. But, truth be told, I don’t think there is a plausible why here.

On the opposite side of the coin, the tragedy didn’t ONLY show the evil side of humanity. It also renewed faith in humanity at the same time. I’m not a teacher, and I never have been. I am grateful to have never been put in the position the heroes of that day were put in. However, if I ever was, I pray I’d react the same way. In the face of danger, I hope I’d react with courage, and would keep others safe in the midst of an unfolding tragedy.

No matter which side of the scenario you find yourself focusing on – the evil that exists in the world, or faith that humankind is full of good as well, I urge you to take a step back and just know that it’s okay to not be okay with this. No one should be okay. It’s okay to also move forward. Again, moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting. It means remembering that it happened, not letting evil win, and moving forward with hope for brighter days ahead.

One final thought – please continue to pray for the community in and around Newtown, Connecticut as they begin picking up the pieces and moving forward. As hard as it seems, I urge you to continue lifting up prayers on behalf of the shooter’s family. I cannot imagine their heartbreak – at losing a brother, son, relative, grandson, etc., but also living knowing what he did just prior to losing him. Continue, also, to pray for the hearts and minds of people all across the nation (and even the world) — that God’s hand of healing continues to bring peace and strength in places currently hurting – even broken. May God gather up all the pieces and put them back together in ways that only He can.

Personal Reflection and Prayer For America – Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

Standard

Yesterday’s tragedy is very much still on the hearts of many people across America and the world…mine included. My heart breaks with the people of Newtown, CT. However, it also breaks with the rest of our nation. These were precious children and loving adults – precious lives cut short. So many people have asked why. A question to which there is no answer. Many people comment that it simply isn’t fair – and it’s not. It’s not okay, and it never should be. As I commented yesterday – I don’t want to be living the day that this sort of thing is commonplace, and when it becomes “just another day” in our lives. We SHOULD be outraged. We should hurt with those who are hurting. We should allow ourselves to be heartbroken with those who are grieving. And we are. Let’s continue to pray for the people in the community of Newtown, Ct – as well as those who are grieving alongside them. Let’s continue to show support and prayer for Newtown, CT – the victims and their families, the teachers and their students who witnessed this tragedy, the first responders and emergency personnel that are processing what they saw, and a nation that desperately needs it. Lives were forever changed, and will not ever be the same.

The personal reflection I am doing, however, tells another kind of story. Yes, we ARE outraged. However, I’d like to pose a question I’ve been asking myself. Where are all these prayer and emotions the other 364 days of the year? It shouldn’t take a tragedy of this magnitude to get us on our knees in prayer for this nation we call home. Along those lines, it should also not take a tragedy like this to make us give our kids hugs, to love on them just that much more. Yesterday, I said several times that (as I was holding one child and waiting for the others to get home from school) I couldn’t wait for them to get home so I could grab them up, hug them, hold them and just love on them. That’s something I should be doing every day. They need to know my love and how much I care about them, regardless of what is going on in the nation. Tragedy or no tragedy, my love for them remains.

My prayer for this nation is that we wake up. We should learn to love our families, our neighbors and yes – that stranger walking down the street. God calls us to love one another. He doesn’t say to love when it’s convenient, and he doesn’t say to love after an emergency happens. He has created us as community people. We need to link arms, and create a resolve that’s unable to be broken. Yes, our hearts SHOULD break when these kind of things happen. But, we should band together in unity during “life as normal” as well. America, Where is our passion? Don’t allow the passion you felt yesterday, and the heartbreak you feel today to disappear as the days go on. Allow God to soften your heart, and to keep it from hardening as life happens around us. Pray for your friends. Pray for your neighbors. Even pray for those you don’t feel worthy of prayer. Pray for the victims in CT, and especially pray for this nation.

May we, as a nation and through the world, never lose hope – and always know love!!!

Praying For Connecticut Shooting

Standard

As there are more details, I will update this post. Right now, I’d like to make this post – lifting up the families of all those involved in an elementary school shooting this morning in Connecticut. Reading and watching news sources all over the country, there have so far been 27 confirmed dead, 18 20 of which are reported to be children. This is being noted as the worst school shooting in the history of our Nation. May God be with us.

I sit here in tears – with my heart breaking for all involved. Having children this age, I simply cannot imagine. All I want to do right now is grab them up, hug them, hold them and continue to pray. I’d like to ask you to join with me in prayer for this community, and all the nation that grieves with them.

As I browse any number of social media networks, there are numerous – too many to count – mentions of this shooting, accounts of the events unfolding, and broken hearts that accompany them. To see the love and compassion poured out from complete strangers all across the country. These lives have been touched and will never again be the same. May they see love from others, and may they know they are not alone during these dark hours.

My heart, thoughts and prayers are with all concerned – their community and also all those grieving alongside them as the healing process begins. May the God of all creation, with arms that hold the entire universe hold them today. I’m praying for their strength and comfort moving forward. Will you join me?

I’m editing this to add that I’d also like to urge you all to pray for the parents and family of the shooter(s) as well. It’s certainly not the same, but their pain is and will be real – and their lives, also, forever changed.

I’m editing this once again to add that evidently the shooter shot and killed his father, and his mother was a teacher at this school. From the reports I’m hearing, his mother was amongst the casualties inside the school. It’s being reported that this individual set out to take away the things his mother loved most…her family and her (school) kids. My heart breaks for anyone that broken hearted themselves. I simply cannot imagine. Standing in prayer with all concerned.

Now being edited to include the report that it’s been confirmed that at least 20 of the 27 deaths are children. Any life lost is precious. Somehow, as a parent, I cannot fathom losing a child…especially like this.

My final thought on this for now. Earlier today, I posted this on a friends Facebook wall – in response to an on-air broadcast I’d heard:

My heart breaks with these people during this dark hour in their lives. I just don’t get it – and I think that’s okay…cause I don’t want to be living the day when this becomes something we just come to understand – when it becomes just another day. May our hearts always grieve with those who are hurting.

It’s Okay To Cry Sometimes

Standard

***This post was written on December 12th, after a pretty disappointing day – but until today (December 14th) it has been kept private. It has been private because it’s pretty personal, and I just kept feeling like it wasn’t the time to post it. With respect to the school shooting this morning in Connecticut (see today’s blog post) – I am publishing this post below as public. The sentiments ring that much more true to me right now. It’s okay to cry.****
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s okay to have tears. It’s okay when they flow. God created our emotions, and they are not bad. Today, in fact, I had a really hard day. Truth be told, it’s really just a continuation of this ongoing saga of what all is going on in my body. I get to my awaited appointment, just to be told “we’re really sorry, but we need to reschedule your appointment.” Um, are you KIDDING me? With tears in my eyes, I just couldn’t believe it. Evidently the hospital here didn’t get the records to the place I was having my appointment – who, in turn, couldn’t continue with my appointment without them. So, another week. My appointment today was rescheduled for next week. And so this continues to be the appointment that will go on forever.

As I sat there at what should have been my appointment, I couldn’t convince the tears not to be present. As I thought more about it, I felt silly for the tears. Then, and ever-present truth was revealed to me. God created our emotions. He created the very tears we cry. I could write an entire series of blog posts on the various times tears and God’s response to them occurs in the Bible.

I’d like to take this one step further and encourage anyone taking the time to read. No matter what the day brings, no matter what you are facing, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to say that it’s not fair. It’s okay to not understand. And most importantly, it’s okay to not always be okay. There may be something in your life that you just cannot figure how you will get beyond. You may question if you’ll ever be able to pick up the pieces and move on. I’m here as living proof (not just as it relates to my current health issues) that life DOES go on. Sometimes, it will become necessary to take life one day at a time – sometimes even moment by moment. Even still, just know that it’s okay to have emotions. Tears aren’t always particularly fun, but they are necessary for healing sometimes.

Even if it’s just momentary, smile – knowing that your tears won’t last forever, and that it’s okay to cry sometimes.